There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man.
Yesterday, I crossed over into the Twilight Zone.
It started off innocently enough.
It was a sunny day, a bit warmer than it had been and I woke up filled with energy.
I had my list of tasks and every intention of finishing them all in short order to clear the way for a new project.
I grabbed my first coffee, sat down at my desk, tuned in my favorite internet radio station and started answering emails.
As long as I was going to be confined to the desk for the better part of the day, I might as well enjoy myself, so I clicked on TweetDeck to see what the world was twittering about.
It didn't launch.
It just sat there, spinning it's virtual wheels.
Okay, that can happen, I ignored it and continued with the emails.
I answered my FaceBook messages and continued sorting through emails.
I went to Google, to get some info for our trip to Italy and Google wouldn't Google.
That was odd.
My FaceBook page worked, my email worked and my internet radio station worked, but I couldn't launch any new pages on the browser.
I ran a diagnostic and was informed that my computer couldn't 'find DNS server'.
I closed and reopened Firefox, thinking to solve the problem.
It exacerbated it.
When I reopened Firefox no pages would open. I didn't get any errors, just blank pages called 'untitled document'
The same thing happened with Internet Explorer.
But my email still worked and the radio played on.
I did the next logical thing.
I rebooted my system.
That wiped out the email and the radio…. and the little weather bug in the corner, which is internet dependent, giving me time and temperature.
But Skype, which is also internet dependent, worked just fine….
I checked mon mari's system – (We have ADSL and are on the same router). He could still get and receive email but couldn't get on the internet, so to speak. His Skype did not work.
Since the router was working, all the right lights flashing at the right time, and I could get on-line, albeit in a bizarre, limited way, I decided there must be a problem further up the food chain.
I did the only logical thing left – I turned on the TV to check the news to see if some natural catastrophe or French protest had taken down the internet in France.
That wasn't the problem either….
I left it alone, and went on to non-internet dependent projects.
About 10 last night, like a sore tooth, I could no longer leave it alone.
If it had been a larger problem, affecting more than just me, it would have been fixed by then.
I rebooted again.
Now Skype didn't work either, so there went my back-up plan to get help from an internet savvy friend in the morning.
But the little weather bug was back, happily displaying current temp and wind speed.
I poured a glass of wine and vowed to leave it alone until morning.
Which I managed to do (the wine helped)
This morning, after coffee, I finally had to resort to the dreaded manual….
Which told me nothing that I didn't already know.
Except for one little thing that I know as well as I know my own face…. But, apparently forgot.
Back in the beginning of time I sold computers. We always laughed at our customers, who, after calling in a panic because their computer had crashed, had, (at our instruction) walked around the computer to find the plug no longer in it's socket.
The manual reminded me to check the connections before calling the ISP for help.
The connections were all fine, but, as long as I was on my belly under the desk, I decided to swap out all the cables.
I mean, we all know that there is never a problem with the cables, right?
It was the ADSL filter – the little plug goes into the phone socket on the wall that the router plugs into.
I changed that and before I even had my head above the desk I heard the 'You've got mail' beep.
I still don't believe that I went without internet for 24 hours because of a stupid phone line filter.
I think it was the FM.
Back in the beginning of time when people used to asked me how something worked I gave them the standard programmer's answer.
It's the FM.
Just sit back, watch the blinking lights and have faith.
With Chinese New Year coming up soon, I thought it was time to get in the mood…
And wouldn't you just know – it's the Year of the Rabbit. Is that in my honor do you think?
Red cooking is a method used in Chinese cooking of braising in a soy sauce based liquid.
Salmon is not a common ingredient in Chinese cooking, but my fish-hating mon mari likes salmon.
The art of compromise…..
Red-Cooked Salmon with Peanut Sauce
2 salmon fillets, 12oz (350gr) total weight
1/4 cup (2oz, 60gr) soy sauce
1 tbs minced ginger
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) water
3 tbs peanut butter
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs sherry
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
Salmon: Add the soy sauce, ginger, vinegar and water to a skillet just large enough to hold the salmon easily. Add the salmon, curved side down, cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer slowly, bubbles barely breaking the surface, for 15 minutes, carefully turning the salmon half way through. At this point salmon should be cooked through, flesh opaque. If not simmer another 3 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered until ready to serve.
Peanut Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
To serve: Remove salmon to plates, spoon sauce over and serve.
In addition to this, for the week of January 28 we have Fried Rice with Broccoli, Chicken and Mushroom Lasagne, Roast Cornish Hens, Potato, Ham and Broccoli Gratin….
Thyme for Cooking is a Weekly Menu Planning Service focusing on healthy, seasonal foods, now with more options:
- Complete menu for 7 dinners, main course and sides, including 2 with first courses
- Complete menu for 6 dinners, main course and sides only
Join now and try it free for a week! The menu, complete recipes with meal preparation instructions, and shopping list is available each Thursday. (Reverse seasons available for Australia, and others in the Southern Hemisphere).
Don't need complete dinners? Try the Main Course Menu Mailer option: 6 new main courses every week – with suggestions for side dishes.